Have you just started your billiard journey? Are you wondering how to install pool table felt? We understand that applying the felt on your pool table is not easy, especially for newbies.
It requires techniques and detailed steps to install the cloth. Keeping the surface flat is important as you will play on it. The balls will not move to the right place if you do not stretch the cloth enough.
Before finding out the steps to install the cloth, you should know its features, such as its materials and types. They all play key roles in determining how you will process. Now, let’s get started!
- 1 What Is The Fabric On Your Pool Table?
- 2 Buying Guide
- 3 How To Install Pool Table Felt?
- 4 When Should You Replace Pool Table Felt?
- 5 How To Clean Your Pool Table Felt?
- 6 The Bottom Line
What Is The Fabric On Your Pool Table?
Have you ever been curious about the green or red material covering the pool table surface? This material is felt, and it has other names like table cloth or billiard cloth.
The cloth usually has a green color which represents grass. Sometimes, it is red as people want to make it more attractive and stylish.
Its material is soft, which aims to aid the ball when moving around. Especially in the game, you expect the balls to move smoothly at a great speed and spin correctly in different directions based on your target.
It is usually made with two different combinations: wool and polyester or wool and nylon. The actual fabric used to make the cover will depend on the price and quality.
Because the billiard cloth impacts the performance and result of the game, you need to choose it wisely.
There is a wide range of billiard clothing that is made from different materials. Each of them can affect the speed and spin of your ball’s movement.
If you are finding a billiard cover for home use, woolen felt cloth would satisfy your demand. It is a standard covering with 60% wool in its construction.
You can find it commonly in public pool tables. However, this material is pretty thick, which makes the performance of the balls quite slow.
A more expensive option will be worsted felt wool if you are a professional billiard player. This material is great for providing a consistent surface.
Its speed is also great for the ball when they are traveling around the table. As mentioned, it is for professional players, so you will only find it in tournaments or luxury pool rooms.
We suggest outdoor felt cloth for outdoor tables, which is more resistant to moisture and heat due to its acrylic fabric.
Color indeed has no impact on the felt quality or how effectively it helps the ball’s performance. The cloth usually has a green color, which is still the most common color that you can find.
Although color does not affect the billiard cloth in general, it supports your eyes. When you look at the balls for a long time, your eyes will be tired.
Therefore, the green color will ease and relax the eyes and increase your concentration. It also hides marks and dirt better than other pigments.
Sometimes, you can see the cloth with various hues that blend well in your decor and give your table an attractive look. Consider your style to choose the color you like best.
Before installing a billiard cloth, make sure that it fits your table. Depending on the manufacturer and the type of cloth you buy, several size options are available.
A standard pool table will be 7 feet, 8 feet, and 9 feet long. You can rely on this to choose the fittest size. If the surface has different dimensions, you will need to measure the playing area, the entire space where the balls roll around.
Selecting the size is most important, so measure your table carefully. Otherwise, your cloth will be a waste.
How To Install Pool Table Felt?
Preparing Your Table And Cloth
Firstly, you need to disassemble your pool table. If there are any pocket liners, remove them first.
Next, find and remove the bolts. They often lay on the underside of the table to keep the railings stationary. After that, you move the railings slowly to a place which is safe enough for them to not get damaged and scratched.
Secondly, if the old cloth is covering your table, replace them. You can erase it with a destapler in case the cloth attaches to your table. If it sticks on, you can easily rip it off. Be careful when you put the cloth in the pockets to minimize damages.
Additionally, you can test whether the surface is flat or not. If it is tough, you can use a wreck bar to pull up the lower leg and give it an extra wooden shim.
Then, you need to use a dry cloth to clean all the dirt and glue on the slate. Water and cleaning solutions are not advisable as they can spoil the materials of your cloth.
Stapling The Playing Surface
If you have a wooden board backing, this method is advisable. A lot of tables have a wooden board layer underneath the slate, which helps to attach staples. If it only has the slate, you should glue the felt in the above instructions.
Next, you cut the billiard cloth into pieces that fit your pool table and railings. Some require cutting with a box cutter or razor blade. Then, you rip the felt straight.
You roll out the cloth over your table. Remember to check for scratches and dirt on the cloth surface and determine the playing surface.
You stretch the cloth over the head end and nail it on edge in some places by using a staple gun. You should stretch it tightly until no wrinkles appear on the surface. Wrinkles can affect the speed of the balls while playing.
When you finish this process for the left side, you will nail on the foot end and repeat for the right side. Remember to nail on the side pocket entirely and pull it until the surface is smooth and tight enough. Finally, trim and staple the spare materials inside to hide the excessive felt.
Adhering The Felt
Doesn’t glue work on your table as it has no wooden board backing? Don’t worry! Instead, you can use a specialized spray to staple the billiard cloth to the slate.
To apply it, you need to cover every side of your table first. It will prevent yours from the glue. At this step, you will cut the felt into strips that fit each railing. Ensure that the pieces have the correct sizes to fit your table.
After determining the playing surface and spreading it over the surface, you will spray glue in the slate. Then, you attach the cloth to the table to avoid wrinkles on its surface.
Replacing The Railing Felt
This is the final step of how to install pool table felt. You use a staple remover to remove the nails of the rails. Then, you gently eliminate the feather strip that runs alongside the cloth. It is an important step because you will put a new strip afterward.
Next, you lay the strip but do not force it down. Instead of striking the feather strip directly and causing damage to your table, you can add a tapping block across it while tapping the block gently.
It helps push the feather strip into stretched areas of the felt without denting the table.
You pull the cloth all over the table and tap it until it is stationary. Finally, reassemble the outer railings and finish the installation process.
When Should You Replace Pool Table Felt?
Depending on your playing experience, changing a new cloth for your pool table is great, especially when you can no longer clean or fix it.
If it starts to have scratches and big holes on the surface, purchasing a new one will be necessary to ensure the ball’s performance.
How To Clean Your Pool Table Felt?
Cleaning and maintenance are the most efficient ways to extend the billiard cloth’s service life and provide the optimal playing surface.
You should not take food and drinks near the pool table to prevent spilling. Investing in a vacuum for your billiard surface is an ideal option. Remember to use a low suction vacuum and upholstery attachment to protect the felt material.
Moreover, you should not wash the felt with water or strong detergents. Dry cleaning is more suitable for billiard cloth as it avoids discoloring and fabric damages.
The Bottom Line
We’ve suggested to you the detailed guidelines of how to install pool table felt. You may find it quite hard to do the first time, but it will become easier when you often change clothes. Hope you find this helpful and have fun playing billiards!